Dazhalan, affectionately known as Dashilar in the local Beijing dialect is the most famous traditional commercial area in Beijing. It is located within walking distance just south of the Forbidden City。
Dashilar, meaning “the great fence” has been a commercial hub in Beijing since the 1400’s (Ming Dynasty). Establishments such as restaurants, theaters, shops, etc that were not allowed in the inner city found a home here and it quickly blossomed into a commercial area. Originally named Langfang Sitiao, it was renamed Dashilar for the fences built at both ends of the street. During the Ming and Qing dynasties a curfew was often imposed, and the fences on this and many other streets were closed to keep thieves out.
大柵欄從明代 ，1400年左右，已經是繁榮的商業區。有些不許在内城做生意的商店，餐館，和娛樂場所就在外城這裡做生意。大柵欄原名是廊坊四條。 爲了治理社區住安，北京在明清兩朝在很多條街的街口建了木柵欄 來防盜。每條街的居民都出錢建自己街的木柵欄。由於大柵欄的柵欄是本街的商店出錢建，它就是最大最堅固的。 這條街就是這樣得名的.
Dashilar signage that marks the street. You actually can’t miss it because it is a butling street.
During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Dashilar was teeming with activity. This was the place to be for one-stop shopping, dining, and entertainment. There were shops of all types, theaters, restaurants, inns and hotels, as well as some seedier joints. The shops were well established high quality luxury and status brands. These shops earned their status by producing quality products at fair prices. Being in close proximity to the Forbidden City, the shops were heavily patronized by royalty and high officials, as well as wealthy merchants.
Architectural detail. On the left is a traditional silk shop with western inspired architecture. On the right is a building in the traditional style architecture. On the bottom is a lantern in the style of the imperial court.
左邊譧祥益絲綢店的建築有些西方的影響, 右邊的商店是中國傳統的建築， 下面的照片是中國宮燈。
Many of these shops are still in operation today, some in the same buildings they have been in for over a century. Notable shops include:
- Tongrentang Traditional Medicine Shop 同仁堂 （1669） has supplied herbs and medicines to the imperial court, including the emperor。
- Ruifuxiang Silk Shop est. 1893 has a beautiful array of silks, fabrics, and traditional Chinese clothing. You can choose the fabrics and have them custom make clothing for you in the store.
- Majuyuan Hat Shop est. 1811 (Now Dongsheng Hat Shop) made hats for court officials and satin boots for nobility.
- Neiliansheng Shoe Store made shoes and boots for high officials. This store is 3 floors and has all kinds of traditional Chinese shoes in a myriad of different styles, colors, and materials.
- Zhangyiyuan– tea
- Liubiju– Chinese preserved vegetables
- Daguanlou– the first Chinese movie was shown at this theater
- 同仁堂 （1669）藥房，配草藥和中藥給皇室 和皇帝
- 瑞蚨祥 （1893）賣絲綢，綢緞，和其它布料。 可以定做傳統中國衣服。
- 馬聚元 （1811）定做帽子和布鞋給古代貴族，朝中文武官， 商人，等等。
- 内聯升– 定做帽子和布鞋給古代貴族，朝中文武官， 商人，等等。這商店有各種各樣款色的傳統中國的鞋。 好像回到古代中國的鞋店。
- 張一元– 茶葉
- 六必居– 榨菜
- 大觀樓– 中國第一部影片就在這裡放映
If you go:
- Plan to spend some time wandering through the stores. They are museums in and of themselves that shed light on the commercial culture of Old Beijing.
- Grab a map (or not) and take a stroll through the area hutongs. There are tons of interesting places to discover- shops, eats, hostels, beautiful architecture.
- Great place for souvenirs
- Great place for traditional Chinese goods- clothing made out of beautiful silks and brocades with intricate embroidery, shoes, tea, food, etc.
- 一定要進商店看看。 這裡的商店好像博物館一樣，給我們了解老北京的商業界和商品。
- 戴張地圖逛胡同。這裡的胡同有很多歷史文物和有趣的地方- 商店，餐館/小吃，旅店， 古色建築，等等。
- 麥中國傳統貨品的好地方- 綢緞旗袍和棉襖，布鞋， 茶葉，食物，等等。